Ogden • In a season in which Utah Valley has beaten BYU, taken Utah to the wire and fallen to Utah State in overtime, surely the Wolverines' last in-state opponent seemed to provide the best possibility for another win.
But Weber State was having none of it Saturday night.
The Wildcats held slim leads for much of the contest before breaking away in the last eight minutes and came away with a 93-85 victory.
"We lost three games by a total of five points," Weber State coach Randy Rahe said. "These guys wanted to get the win really badly.
"We needed to stop them in transition. They've played the fourth-fastest pace of any team in the country," Rahe added. "If they're running up and down getting easy baskets, you really can't beat them — they're too talented."
What kept Utah Valley at bay in the end was long distance shooting — particularly by senior guard Jeremy Senglin.
Burying six of his nine long-range attempts, Senglin racked up 27 points to lead all players. In a two-and-a-half minute stretch late in the game, Senglin dropped in one 3-pointer, made a pair of free throws and then swished another trey for an 85-71 Weber State lead with 2:54 remaining.
"They started going in. Once that happens, I just keep shooting," Senglin said. "I thought I had good looks."
"When he gets going, he's hard to handle," Rahe said. "We've got to remind him to keep attacking the basket. Then the threes come more naturally."
Iffy free-throw shooting by the host 'Cats (4-6) helped Utah Valley (5-5) crawl back to within six with a minute remaining. But Weber then canned five of its next six attempts from the charity stripe to seal the game.
Wildcats' senior Kyndal Hill was one player who excelled from the line. His 8-for-8 marksmanship was a big part of his 14 points. Fellow Weber big man Zach Braxton added 13 while Dusty Baker came off the bench for a dozen.
Connor Toolson and Brandon Randolph scored 15 each for Utah Valley while Zach Nelson added 14.
Since beating BYU 114-101 on November 26, the Wolverines have dropped four of their past five games.
"I need us to play harder and I need us to execute a little smarter," Wolverines coach Mark Pope said. "I need us to not run out of gas.
"My biggest fear, just looking at the schedule, was that it was just going to take a toll and just start to wear your guys down," he added. "It can't break our confidence. It's got to grow our confidence."